HarshSTATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: Expressing grave concern over the unending disaster occurring in the State due to uncertainties and vagaries of weather, Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and former Minister has lambasted the Union and State Governments for their lackadaisical approach in formulating the much proclaimed and long awaited Disaster Management Policy for J and K.

Regretting inadequate response from the Central and State Governments over devastation caused due to floods, he said that insufficient relief work has increased the woes and sufferings of the common masses of the State.

Strongly flaying the Union Government for announcing freebies and pittance in the name of relief and rehabilitation, Singh castigated the BJP led Government for its failure to release the much proclaimed package of Rs. 44,000 crore projected by the State Government. He said with fresh disaster causing havoc in the State miseries of the already affected people had been further compounded and required focused attention of the Union of India on war footing. He said the BJP led government has not only delayed the positioning of disaster management mechanism in the State but has also doled out the most discriminatory treatment to various districts of Jammu region in the matter of relief and rehabilitation. He said that undoubtedly the unprecedented floods and natural calamities have caused huge loss in Kashmir valley, the damages in Udhampur district, Poonch and Rajouri can’t be undermined and need to be suitably compensated. He said that NDRF and SDRF teams need to be dispatched to the affected areas of Kashmir and Jammu regions in view of MET Department forecasts of further turbulences during the next five days.

Reminding the BJP led Government of its tall claims, Singh said that Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs on rescue and rehabilitation in the aftermath of September 2014 floods had categorically asked the Union Government not to shrug off its responsibility in re-building the flood ravaged State. He said that the said Parliamentary committee had specifically instructed in its 182 page report to cover all aspects of the losses caused including damages to infrastructure and tourism. He further reminded the BJP led Government at the Centre that during Assembly Elections in the State it had assured full rehabilitation, relief and reconstruction of the state devastated by the floods and even incorporated its promise in the ‘vision Document’ published in 2014.

Flaying the inordinate delay in relief and rehabilitation work, Harsh Dev Singh said that the Union Government had deliberately prolonged the issue by raising various disputes after several months of the catastrophe with regard to quantum of relief and extent of damage. He said that a situation of similar nature had occurred in Jharkhand in June 2013 where the devastation caused by flash floods was addressed within two months. Harsh regretted that in the case of J and K the loss assessment was left to State Government and when it completed its exercise, prepared its report and sought a package of Rs. 44,000 crore, the Union government refused to accept the projections of the State Government after a period of several months. He regretted that despite the World Bank having announced the award for rehabilitation, J and K continued to be deprived of its legitimate funding with the Central Government merely indulging in rhetorical overtures and loud pronouncements without offering the much needed financial support.